Quality Portland Restaurant Options
So my sister-in-law (25 years old) just moved to Portland, OR and she was curious about restaurants in the area.....what are some of the more popular destinations? (broad question, i know).....I'm pretty sure that she lives right downtown with her boyfriend.....casual/bistro probably works best...but a nice list of places would be ideal....Thanks!
Cosby, you hit the nail on the head.
If this is so important to your sister-in-law, why doesn't she post herself? It's akin to personal ads where someone is posting for their parent or friend.
Some honest blunt advice: scroll down this board a couple of months' worth. Take a few minutes. You will see a wealth of queries with numerous generous thoughtful responses. Tons of useful info written by us. After doing so, come back and post with specific questions about places you've read about, what you mean by "popular" (popular with the bridge & tunnel crowd/tourists, those who adore chains such as Cheesecake Factory, or with Chowhounds?), budget, cuisine preferences, transportation, location, dietary restrictions if any.
After reading a few posts you will see that those are the kinds of queries that get forthcoming responses of any quality and helpfulness. They showed some initiative by doing a little research on the board, gave real info about themselves, and they promised to report back (and did!). In short, it felt more like community and relationship, as in reciprocity.
Just got back from a week in downtown Portland. Most restaurants in this area are good for the most part. We had breakfast, lunch and dinners at the Heathman Restaurant in the Heathman Hotel on Broadway and were very impressed. Higgin's Restaurant just two blocks farther on Broadway was exceptional. Was not hugely impressed with Blue Hour (or was it Hour Blue?) but it was Sunday Brunch. I would try it , though. The server was very attentive. Oba (a cuban restaurant) was recommened (Pearl District). Departure Restaurant in The Nines Hotel was very, very trendy but we saw all sorts of people there (tourists and Locals). The terrace bar was really nice after dark. As an aside, we found Portland to be reasonable price-wise on just about everything plus no sales tax!
Moving to Portland is different than visiting Portland, and the recommendations, as such, will be much different.
Might I point out this handy guide at just some of the bounty available to locals:
Your sister-in-law will do just fine by going to the places listed, as it's got a healthy cross section of many neighborhoods, cuisines and price points.
I would recommend AGAINST confining one's self to just one's local neighborhood, as there's enough provinciality among Portlanders as it is. Moreover, your sister will discover her local options well enough on her own; the benefit of a forum such as Chowhound is to expand her boundaries.
There are many food "corridors" such as NE Alberta, SE Division/Clinton, SE Hawthorne, and 82nd Ave. There's also collections of food carts at SW 10th and Alder, SW 5th and Oak, and SE 12th and Hawthorne.
To answer your question as to some of the more popular destinations, expect a crowd (especially on weekend nights) at places like Pok Pok, Ping, Ken's Artisan Pizza, Apizza Scholls, Toro Bravo, Clyde Common and Laurelhurst Market. Almost every restaurant can be accurately described as casual/bistro, but that's by design as we Portlanders are very come-as-you-are by nature.